Otago Polytechnic

How can a person's cultural safety be respected while their physical injury is treated?

Ka pēhea te haumarutaka ā-iwi o te takata e whakaute ana kei whakaora ana tōna whara ā-tinana?


For some cultures including our Māori culture, the head is tapu, a part of the body deserving of special respect.  What implications does this have for the treatment of head injuries in New Zealand? 

Gary Barclay, a Senior Lecturer in Sport, has first hand experience of head injury, playing football in 2013. He recorded a detailed description of his experiences as a patient and during rehabilitation. Gary worked with Dr Simon Middlemas, Principal Lecturer in Sport, and Richard Kerr-Bell to examine and analyse his experience. 

Gary identifies as New Zealand pakeha but aspects of his experience raise important considerations for people of other cultures. He hopes to stimulate discussion about important issues to do with physical handling of the head and neck region, and even more intrusive, having a halo brace screwed into the skull. How might our emergency and medical care professionals ensure the cultural safety and security of those under their physical care? This would be consistent with their obligation to treat users of health services with dignity and respect.


Ki ētahi iwi, ki te iwi Māori hoki, he tapu te māhuka, he wāhaka whakahirahira o te tinana. He aha kā whakahīrautaka mō te whakaora whara māhuka ki Aotearoa?

Kua whakapā tuatahi a Gary Barclay, tētahi Pūkeka Matua ki Hākinakina, i a ia e tākaro poiwhana ana. I āta tuhi ia i tētahi whakaaturaka o āna wheako hei hāura me kā whakamātūtūtaka. Ka mahi tahi a Gary rātou ko Tākuta Simon Middlemas, he Pūkeka Matua ki Hākinakina, ko Richard Kerr-Bell kia whakatewhatewha, kia arohaehae hoki i āna wheako.

Ko Kāti Pākehā tōna ake iwi, heoi, ka whakaputa ētahi āhuataka o tāna wheako i ētahi whakaaro whakahirahira mō kā tākata o iwi kē. Ka tūmanako ia ki te whakaokaoka i ētahi kōrerorero mō kā take whakahirahira e pā ana ki te mau i te māhuka, i te kakī hoki, ā, he āhuataka maoho anō, i kōwiria tētahi whakamauka āwheo ki tōna korotū. Ka pēhea tō mātou kaimahi ohotata me kā kaiwhakaora e whakatūturu ana i te haumarutaka ā-iwi o kā hāura? Ka rite tēnei ki tō rātou hereka ki te whakaute, ki te whakamana hoki i a rātou e whakamahi ana i kā ratoka hauora.

Links

MĀORI & INDIGENEITY HEALTH & WELLBEING

May 2018

Image credit: Blondinrikard Froberg, used under Creative Commons licence CC BY 2.0